Finding Heinlein in Boy’s Life

Here’s a vote of thanks to the Crotchety Old Fan for leading his fellow Heinlein fans to a trove of Heinlein’s fiction from Boy’s Life.

He has posted links to scanned-in issues hosted on Google Books with such stories as “Tramp Space Ship,” published in hardcover as The Rolling Stones, and “Tenderfoot in Space,” about a Boy Scout and his dog on Venus told partly from the dog’s point of view. “Tenderfoot” is more historical curiosity than hidden gem. It went unreprinted for over 30 years before Yoji Kondo reissued it in Requiem: New Collected Works by Robert A. Heinlein and Tributes to the Grand Master.

Crotchety sounds conflicted about posting links to anything at Google Books. Tormented, really, as he begins, “Regardless of how you feel about the Google Book Settlement (an I’m agin it – check out my name in Ursula Le Guin’s letter on the subject)…”  and ends, “I wonder if the Heinlein estate has ‘opted in’ to Google books and whether or not they’re getting a couple of pennies every time someone reads these stories.  If not – I wonder what the executors think of entire RAH novels being freely available on the web…?”

Though I wouldn’t bet against anyone who thinks Heinlein’s executors would like to collect a royalty every time someone reads one of the master’s stories I came to the same conclusion as Crotchety did – so long as the stories are only a click away it’s a shame to let the opportunity go to waste.

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2 thoughts on “Finding Heinlein in Boy’s Life

  1. I remember as a boy reading an Arthur C. Clarke story in someone’s back issue of Boys’ Life (about a race from Earth to Luna in Solar Sail ships, the first time I ever heard of solar sails), but I never saw the Scouting versions of his stories as they originally appeared. I’ve read them as expanded novels, but not in their original magazine form.

  2. I presume the Crotchety Old Fan was unaware of my own roundup of science fiction in Boys’ Life, covering Heinlein, Clarke, and the Time Machine stories of “Donald Keith.”

    See: (Donald Keith) (Arthur C. Clarke) (Robert A. Heinlein)

    There’s more SF where that came from, including stories by Poul Anderson, David Gerrold, James Blish, Ray Bradbury, and authors I’ve never heard of. But I haven’t found them all yet.

    Also, the magazine featured a long-running SF comic strip, Space Conquerors!, created by Al Stenzel. A scholar with the sobriquet “PlanetTom” has created an excellent page of links to installments of this strip:

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